Sfingi con Ricotta - Sfinciteddi - Fritteddi
These "frittelle" are made mostly in the countryside in the province of Palermo,
Trapani and Syracuse, however similar sfinciteddi are made all over Sicily, and everybody claims its
originality. Being so easy to make and because of the few common ingredients used, it explains the popularity of
Mr. Frank Curcurato, whose paternal ancestors were from Villasmundo, in the province of Syracuse has a recipe for
Sfingi (we call these frittedde or sfinciteddi), that if it is not equal, it is very similar to the recipe we
The first time that the frittelle or sfingi were cooked in my paternal home, it was
in the early 40's, when we moved to Monreale to escape the war.
Monreale is a little town near Palermo famous for the Cathedral built in the 12th century in Romanesque
architecture and displaying a blend of Arab, Byzantine, Norman and Sicilian artistry.
The recipe for the ricotta fritters, "sfingi' (unrelated to Saint Joseph Sfingi) is easy to make, it is made with
flour, sugar, ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and to activate it as a leavening agent,
In Monreale, the lady that taught my aunt Bettina to make the frittelle, prepared the mixture in no time and
without weighting or measuring any of the ingredient; at that time Zia Bettina was in charge of all the cooking and
food shopping in my paternal home.
The frittedde or sfinciteddi are a treat that occasionally were served as a snack
and for the ritual afternoon nosh, the merenda.
2 lb. flour
3 oz. granulated
1 teaspoon baking
2 Lb. ricotta
6 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon or
Vanilla (very small amount) and you can
add cinnamon and candied fruits.
Canola or corn oil for deep
Mix all dry ingredients, add the remaining ingredients and blend well with a wooden spoon. Dough should be smooth
and the consistency of the pastella.
Cover and rest dough for 20/30 minutes.
Deep fry at 375 degrees, dropping the mixture a few spoons at the time, without crowding the fryer. To deposit the
fritters in the oil use the help of another spoon. Deep fry the fritters until golden. Transfer to drain in a dish
covered with paper towels.
Sprinkle with granulated or powder sugar. Serve hot or cold.